A Brief History of Search Engine Optimization

Published on:
November 6, 2018
TransForm Solutions

Search engines have been around for some time now. In case you ever wondered how they evolved and when did SEO first appear, the infographic below provided by SEO Tribunal will give you an excellent overview.

Let's check some of the most well known moments of the SEO and Google's history.

  • 1993: Archie Query Form, the first search engine, was launched.

  • 1995-1997: These were the years which saw the early signs of SEO. Several search engines emerged, and Alta Vista and Lycos were among them. This was the period when content started gaining importance for boosting a website's visibility in search engine results.

As a result, website owners came up with stuffing content with highly searched words (what we call keywords today) to get higher rankings on SERPs. This dropped the quality of search engine results.

  • 1998: Google was born. In the early days, it was using the well-king to which the website with the maximum number of links was considered to be trustworthy and a quality place.

However, the rise of bad quality links quickly started to degrade the quality of search results once again.

  • 2002-2003: After successfully clamping down the excessive link-stuffing, the next challenge was to prevent keyword-stuffing. This tactic served as a part of tricking search engines.

  • 2008: Social media became a huge breakthrough to the point that Google and Bing started showing social media entries in the search results.

  • 2011-2012: Till then, many websites were loaded with low-quality content just to lure search engines. To combat this issue, Google launched Panda in 2011 and Penguin in 2012. The quality of the search results was significantly improved, and website owners were forced to do the same with their website content.

  • 2013-2017: During this per introduced two major search updates - Hummingbird and RankBrain. While Hummingbird focused on the context of the queries rather than particular words, RankBrain used machine learning to provide the most relevant search results.

  • 2018 and beyond: In addition to many ranking factors, Google also stresses the importance of making mobile-friendly websites. Considering the fact that about 50% of the web traffic comes from mobile devices this decision is not a surprise.Another area that is yet to be fully developed is based on voice searches and voice-enabled smart devices, such as Siri, Cortana, or Alexa. It is expected that, in the near future, Google will start promoting websites responding to this type of search.

This was just a brief history of Google and SEO till date. To have a deeper insight, check out the infographic below!

Infographic Source: 72 SEO Statistics To Understand SEO in 2019

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